A constant reminder that when we as individuals think outside ourselves, we have the power to facilitate change. When we think of others' lives as linked to our own, our compassion grows. When we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. We build the strength of our neighborhoods. We bolster the health of our communities. And we change the lives of those who walk by us every day.
How You Can LIVE UNITED:
We are all people with the power to help other people. United Way's goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of these problems. LiVING UNITED means being a part of the change. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future. We invite you to join us. You can Give. Advocate. Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.
The Seneca County
United Youth Council
United Way of Seneca County is collaborating with the Seneca County Youth Bureau and Workforce Development to support the Seneca County United Youth Council. The council represents each school district and has expanded to include out of school youth up to age 21. The youth-led, youth-inspired council seeks to facilitate change in the community and school environments by serving as youth leaders. The council emphasizes personal development, empowerment, and commitment to collective decision-making.
Highlights of the Seneca County Youth Council accomplishments to date:
Youth encampment It's Not Just a Night in a Box (October 2007, May 2010) to raise awareness for community poverty and homelessness (included a canned food drive and blanket donations for food pantries)
Projects related to environmental issues including a definite and substantive recycling program in Waterloo and Romulus High Schools
A book club that includes participating from both students and adults at South Seneca High School
Tutoring program for elementary and middle school students in Seneca Falls
Presentation Youth Councils: A Journey of Empowerment at the Search Institute's Healthy Communities – Healthy Youth® conference in Minneapolis, MN (November 2006) where over 1400 attendees joined from at least 6 countries
Presentation The Impact of Youth Councils on Rural Attitudes and Behaviors at the Search Institute's Healthy Communities–Healthy Youth® held in Rochester, NY (November 2007) where over 1600 attendees congregated from nearly a dozen countries
Participation in Global Youth Service Day in 2009- working on a Habitat for Humanity House and cleaning up a nature trail in Romulus
Day of Giving 2009
Over 40 young people celebrated Global Youth Service Day on April 25th by volunteering in their communities. The students volunteered at Creative Choices Daycare Center, Habitat for Humanity of Seneca County, and at the nature trail in Romulus. After volunteering, the students celebrated what youth can do in their communities at the Elk's Lodge in Seneca Falls. Senator Nozzolio presented an encouraging speech to the youth about giving back to the community. This event was entirely planned and organized by the Seneca County Youth Council.
Youth Encampment 2010
Youth across the county gathered at Seneca Falls High School to take a stand for poverty and homelessness in Seneca County. During the event, the youth worked on a variety of projects, such as making blankets, collecting canned foods, dividing bulk shampoo into plastic bottles, hearing from special guest speakers, and making a "home" to sleep in during the night. The youth also raised funds which were donated to several non-profits in the area that help combat homelessness. This event was entirely volunteer driven, with volunteers from the New York Chiropractic College and Banana Republic Outlet. It was made possible through the generosity of the Seneca Falls Savings Bank, Reister's Appliances, and the United Way.
Community indicators tell the story of our area, helping us to clearly see our strengths and challenges. The 70 indicators on this site each track a critical aspect of our community's health and place us in a context by providing comparative information from other communities. Each measure includes a description of the indicator, a brief analysis of trends, charts displaying trends over time, and tables providing data for our counties and others in our region, plus comparisons to the state and nation. For this project, we've selected four comparison counties that are included with Seneca and Cayuga in each indicator: Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego and Wayne.
From this foundation of objective analysis of a common set of data, we can work together to make our communities even better. Check it out — cayugasenecaprofile.org
Community Partners learning to use the Community Profile website.
"Children must have at least one person who believes in them. It could be a counselor, a teacher, a preacher, a friend. It could be you. You never know when a little love and support will plant a small seed of hope."
- Marian Wright Edelman
Born Learning targets parents and family/friend caregivers as the most important influences on a child in the earliest years. It is an innovative public awareness and engagement campaign that helps parents, caregivers and communities create quality early learning opportunities for young children and includes nationwide television, radio, magazine, newspaper, billboard, banner ads (all produced in English and Spanish).
Born Learning provides specific, doable action steps to provide early learning opportunities. It assures parents that it is easy - and fun - to turn everyday moments into quality learning moments … and shows them how to do it.
The Born Learning partners are United Way of America, the Ad Council and Civitas. It's an unprecedented partnership, bringing together nation-wide community impact with the nation's pre-eminent public service advertising and a top expert in parent outreach strategies and creative marketing, all around early childhood.
Check it out at www.bornlearning.org where a wide array of tips, tools and information is available and you can download helpful early learning tools from the website.
Seneca County Housing Coalition
Providing Affordable Housing
The Seneca County Housing Coalition was convened in July 2004 by the United Way of Seneca County in response to a sudden, dramatic increase in requests for emergency housing assistance. The United Way, in its effort to assist families and individuals who were facing the potential of homelessness, recognized a gap in the fabric of services that are available to Seneca County residents. The United Way's call to action, convened many partners and established the framework for the work of the coalition.
Beware of Rent-To-Own Housing Agreements
Rent-to-own agreements often heavily advantage the landlord owner. As the tenant-buyer, you pay for repairs and maintenance, as if you owned the home. However, the owner may be able to evict you, as if you were still a tenant. To learn more click here.
The Mission of the Seneca County Housing Coalition is to ensure that all Seneca County residents have the opportunity to live in safe, decent, sanitary, suitable and affordable housing. The Coalition is committed to assisting all Seneca County residents, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, age or disability.
The Coalition recognizes that economic development is the key to improving housing opportunities in Seneca County. In carrying out its mission, the coalition recognizes the need for both emergency and transitional housing to assist individuals and families as they progress toward the ultimate goals of permanent housing and economic stability.
An array of supportive services tailored to meet the needs of each individual household is also a necessary component of the housing coalition, provided as required for individual family needs.
The Steering Committee of the Coalition is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:
Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency, Inc.
Legal Assistance of the Finger Lakes
Lakeside Mental Health Services, Inc.
Seneca County Economic Development and Planning
Seneca Housing Inc.
United Way of Seneca County
Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES
It is our hope that as a community working together, we can ensure that all Seneca County residents have the opportunity to live in safe, suitable and affordable housing.
United Way of Seneca County
P.O. Box 623
Suite 215 Main St. Shop Center
Waterloo, NY 13165
Fax: 315-539-3335 email@example.com
Seneca County Literacy Project
Building Literacy Skills
Literacy is the essential skill that encompasses the use of reading, writing, speaking and listening to find meaning, solve problems, and communicate information for a variety of personal and professional uses. - As defined by the Literacy Subcommittee 12/9/04
Is it news to you that the following is true?
A high percentage of students during kindergarten screening fall below average in school readiness skills.
Many parents lack the information on ways to provide pre-literacy experiences for their children.
Early literacy prevention support and strategies can often prevent children from becoming classified as special needs students.
Literacy in adults can lead to higher paying jobs and opportunities for families to break the cycle of poverty.
The Goal of the Seneca County Literacy Group is:
To create a culture of literacy in which all children have early, frequent and pleasurable experiences with books, as part of their everyday life.
We strive to:
Reach families early helping them to understand the benefits of reading to their children
Provide children with books of their own to build a positive association with reading
Strengthen the relationship with books and promote the use of libraries
Seneca County Partners for Children, Youth and Families – Collaboration for Community Change
Seneca County Partners for Children, Youth and Families is the county-wide network of people and organizations committed to providing a high quality of life for the Seneca County community. This local partnership convened by the United Way includes all four county public schools, Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES, the Seneca County Division of Human Services (including the human services, the Youth Bureau, Workforce Development, and Probation), community organizations, law enforcement, county agencies, faith partners, parents and youth as active participants.
Launched by the United Way of Seneca County in 1997, the vision remains that as 'partners' we will coordinate efforts of existing resources to cultivate an environment in which our children will:
Be born healthy
Be prepared to enter school
Succeed in school
Have opportunities for positive youth development
Experience family support and stability
Have access to needed services; and
Become self-sufficient, community members
Where the impact of the existing services for families is inadequate, the partnership develops additional resources to provide for unmet needs of children and families.
In 1998, the partners initially prioritized these critical issues:
Lack of communication between existing programs and service providers, resulting in
Lack of service coordination, duplication of services, or inadequate services to meet current needs
Lack of a county-wide public transportation system
Few opportunities for youth
Communication (Education/Information/Clearing House)
Accessibility (Transportation, one stop information)
A current, comprehensive community assessment including strengths, needs and opportunities
What has happened since 1998?
Implementation of a county-wide public transportation system
Focus on county-wide issues/alignment
Collaborative Programs, both long and short-term
Advocacy and Education – at the community, regional and state levels
Reaffirmation of the commitment to collaborate as "Partners"
21st Century Community Learning Center Grant from NYS Department of Education to provide after school programs for middle and high school students in all four school districts (Partners plans to reapply for this in 2011).
ACT for Youth Grant to coordinate the efforts of the partnership, and facilitate community change around positive youth development, recognizing youth as invaluable community resources rather than “problems to be fixed.”
Self-assessment of the partnership
Infrastructure development (subcommittees, leadership, communication mechanisms)
The 10-year celebration of Seneca County Partners for Children, Youth and Familiesrecognized successes to date. The business portion of the meeting included approval of organizational by-laws and the slate of officers, public release of the community profile, and strategic planning by community stakeholders, with commitment to specific action steps and accountability for results.
Action Teams that make-up Partners:
Literacy (Grade 6-Adult)
SUBSTANCE ABUSE COALITION
Reducing Underage Drinking in Seneca County
The Substance Abuse Coalition, formerly the Seneca County Substance Abuse Task Force, was established in 1989 as a subcommittee of Seneca County Partners for Children, Youth and Families.
The coalition convenes local and regional educators, human service organizations, private businesses, local and county government, law enforcement, substance abuse counselors and treatments centers to eliminate underage drinking and promote a drug-free community. In March 2011, United Way of Seneca County was awarded a three-year grant from New York State OASES to reduce underage drinking among 9th-12th grade students. The grant is made possible by the work of the Substance Abuse Coalition.
Project Sticker Shock is a countywide campaign to reduce underage drinking by limiting underage youth access to alcohol. The goal is to educate adults who provide alcohol to youth about laws that prohibit furnishing alcohol to minors. Volunteers placed warning stickers on alcoholic beverages at participating local stores during peak seasons. The sticker warns that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors. Project Sticker Shock was well received by the business community and many of them now work collaboratively with the Coalition.
Graphic Design Contest
In 2010 and 2011, The Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition sponsored annual billboard graphic design contest in local high schools to promote the message "Underage Drinking –Not a Minor Problem." The underage drinking prevention campaign is designed to raise awareness of the serious consequences of drinking and deliver prevention messages. Winners received a cash prize and their design was used on billboards across Seneca County.
2011 Winner - Eric Cali
Romulus Central High School
For more information about how you can be involved contact Steven Capozzi, Substance Abuse Collaborations Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Seneca County Community Garden was established in May 2011 by a group of community members, organizations and businesses to foster a sense of community through gardening while raising awareness of food shortages. United Way of Seneca County is proud to be one of the many partners in this caring effort.
The garden is located in Seneca Falls canal side behind Ferrara Lumber.
Produce grown supports local food pantries and garden members. Members maintain the garden and commit to a minimum of one day a week. Becoming a member is easy and fun! Learn more.
Everyone is welcome to participate! Gardeners and non-gardeners at every level are welcome. Gardening, healthy-eating, food preservation, and other educational classes are held regularly.
In addition to supporting the food pantries with locally-grown produce, the Seneca County Community Garden offers additional education and programming. Zuzu's Cafe will soon offer classes about food preservation and canning. After renovations are complete in the house next door, healthy eating kitchen demonstrations will be offered through the Seneca County House of Concern.
For more information or to volunteer contact Diane Draheim, Executive Director of House of Concern at 315-568-2433 or email email@example.com.
We would like to thank our community partners: Land provided by Seneca Knitting Mills Development Corporation, Soil provided by Mr. & Mrs. Al Janke of Waterloo, Ferrara Lumber, Zuzu's Cafe, Seneca County House of Concern, Lowe's , Cornell Cooperative Extension, Red's Place, Integrative Chiropractic Healthcare, United Way of Seneca County, Water provided by Seneca Falls Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Women's Interfaith Institute, Karen & Stephen Beals, Bob Buccieri, Portico Properties and John Strawway for assembling our shed, Seneca Falls Methodist Church, and the generosity of our members and many volunteers.
Dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-FLYNY211 (for cable or cell phone callers).
What is 2-1-1?
The 2-1-1 System connects people with needed human services through an easy to remember three-digit phone number, the web and a variety of community interactions. When someone connects with 2-1-1, specially trained information and referral specialists analyze what services are needed and provide the appropriate resource and related information. Currently more than 65% of the U.S. population has access to 2-1-1, with more systems going live each month. You can also access 2-1-1 by visiting www.211fingerlakes.org
How the 2-1-1 Call Center will serve Seneca County:
While services that are offered through 2-1-1 vary from community to community, 2-1-1 provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for every day needs and in times of crisis. For example, 2-1-1 can offer access to the following types of services:
Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children’s Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.
Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services.
Support for Children, Youth and Families: child care, after school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.
Volunteer Opportunities and Donations.
The 2-1-1 role in disaster preparedness and recovery includes:
2-1-1 call centers will receive calls during a disaster requesting assistance and/or information from the public. The public will look to the call center for information on shelter, clothing, food, rumor control and eventually rebuilding and recovery information.
2-1-1 can provide vital, timely and coordinated information for service accessibility and the sharing of resources. The coordinated dissemination of information promotes accuracy, improves service accessibility and increases the impact of shared resources.
Resource database sharing is critical in times of a disaster. There may be times when the only information available to staff and the public is through the website.
2-1-1 can receive calls offering assistance and donations.
The recovery of a large-scale disaster can last from a few months to several years. 2-1-1 systems are knowledgeable about existing resources and linkages to these services will be important in re-building the community.
The 2-1-1 system data on needs, unmet needs and geographical information are useful tools for city, county, state and federal planning, especially in times of re-building.
2-1-1 systems become logical sources of information in disaster response and preparedness. All populations are served, including persons with disabilities.